Thursday, March 31, 2005

Democracy Now: Flynt Leverette, Nat Hentoff, Jamin Raskin;Interesting Times, Sex & Politcs & Screeds..., Why Are We Back In Iraq, Margaret Kimberley

From Democracy Now! "always worth watching" (Marica):

Headlines for March 31, 2005
- Child Malnutrition Rate Doubles in Iraq Post-Invasion
- Number of Iraqi Prisoners in U.S. Jails Doubles
- Democrats Set to Reject Bolton as UN Ambassador
- World Bank to Approve Wolfowitz As New Chief
- Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Age Discrimination
- Columbia Univ. Professors Cleared of Anti-Semitism
- Los Angeles Pays $70 Million in Police Abuse Settlements
- Animal Rights Activists Protest Canadian Seal Hunt

John Bolton In His Own Words: Bush's UN Ambassador Nominee Condemns United Nations
Democracy Now! airs rare footage of John Bolton speaking on Feb. 3, 1994 in New York criticizing the United Nations. "The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories," Bolton said. "If it lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." Meanwhile, 59 former diplomats have written an open letter criticizing his nomination.
Ex-Bush Official Warns the Administration: Don't Rush on the Road to Damascus
We talk to Flynt Leverett who served as President Bush's senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from March 2002 to March 2003. [includes rush transcript - partial]
Nat Hentoff: Terri Schiavo Suffered from "Longest Public Execution in American History"
Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff and law professor Jamin Raskin discuss the case of Terri Schiavo, who died today (shortly after we went off the air). Two weeks ago courts order the removal of the feeding tube of the brain-damaged woman sparking a national debate. In a new column Hentoff wrote, "For all the world to see, a 41-year-old woman, who has committed no crime, will die of dehydration and starvation in the longest public execution in American history."

Lloyd wonders whether we'll link to a CounterPunch article by Sharon Smith "Left Apologists for the Occupation: Iraq's Right to Resist:"

Many antiwar leaders blamed John Kerry's defeat on the antiwar movement's failure to connect with America's conservative "heartland"--and have since followed Democratic Party liberals as they tack rightward to orient to this target voting base.
Indeed, liberal commentator Geov Parrish leveled harsh criticism at March 19 antiwar protesters in the Seattle Weekly, belittling antiwar rallies as "a pep rally for activists." Parrish argued, "Opposition to this war should be rooted in what is best for this country."
But this reasoning can easily backfire on the antiwar movement, since "this country" is the U.S. Empire. Already, the antiwar Web site has pandered so far to the "we can't cut and run" crowd that opposition to the Iraq occupation disappeared from its site.
Outright hostility to the Iraqi resistance now reaches far inside the antiwar movement, undermining the notion that Iraqis have the right to determine their own future, free of U.S. intervention.

Of course we will Lloyd.

Lloyd: At one point it brings up Naomi Klein and isn't positive.

No, it's not. As to whether that accurately respresents what Klein was trying to say, I don't know, I wasn't there. But at this site, members are for Iraqi self-determination and the troops coming home now. As far as I know, so is Klein, but if Smith doesn't see that in Klein (or others), it's her right to express her own beliefs.

Stephanie e-mails Chris of Interesting Times and Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude noticing "a similar thread that they're addressing." Chris from Tuesday:

There has been a lot of talk since the election about messaging, framing, talking points, etc. But most of those are just tools. The tools are important, no doubt. But they are pointless if they aren't used to express something deeper. What it comes down to is that, if Democrats are going to be able to convince the electorate to buy into their positions, then Democrats are going to have understand what they believe at a deep and profound level.
This is the primary advantage Republicans have today. They are so in tune with their "values" that they can express them in a reflexive manner. They don't need to second-guess their own pronouncements. Thus they come off looking "comfortable" talking about their beliefs. And you know what they say about sincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made. There are some Democrats who can do this, Dean among them, but it is a skill that has atrophied within the general Democratic leadership.

Rebecca from Tuesday:

maybe you agree, maybe you don't. maybe just the subject of hip-hop causes you to shut down.
but there's a point that's being made that we should all be able to relate to: don't just tell me who you don't like, tell me who you do like.
right or wrong, a lot of people felt that way about john kerry's campaign. they felt they knew what he stood against but not what he stood for. a lot of that has to do with the press but it also has to do with a cautious campaign. where was the message that we could all happily embrace?that's a question we need to be asking.
i do sex & politics here as 'screeds' with 'attitude.' so looking at what adisa banjoko is saying and applying it just to what i write about, i can ask myself have i done enough to highlight what i like? (yes, i've raved over sexual partners but let's leave the sex aspect for now.)
i've noted and applauded janeane garofalo and randi rhodes and, more recently, laura flanders. i've attempted to warn everyone why the new republic is not a liberal magazine. but have i noted enough magazines that were liberal? i'm not sure that i have.
i will continue to address the issue of the new republic (and plan to do so tomorrow) but am i pointing people to magazines that might be speaking for them? i don't think i've honestly done a good job of that.
[. . .]
but i'll close by saying i stand for peace and equality and that those used to be not just enlightened positions but also popular 1s. a great deal has been lost under the bully boy and maybe if we put our thinking caps on and work together we can find a way to turn back towardsa belief in community and public good. what do you think? let me know at

Billie e-mails to note Ron's of Why Are We Back In Iraq?'s continued coverage of Talon "News." From today:

(John Byrne at The Raw Story has an exclusive interview with Melissa Beecher, a real journalist who was plagiarized by fake journalist Jeff Gannon at Bobby Eberle's fake news service Talon News/GOPUSA.)
Jeff Gannon's plagiarism of the wire services and mainstream media outlets is one thing, but stealing the work of a hard-working real life journalist is inexcusable.
Melissa Beecher wrote a story for The MetroWest Daily News and The Daily News Tribune (and the Community Newspaper Company which is owned by The Boston Herald) on June 13, 2003 which recieved some attention but not the kind of attention that Jeff Gannon the plagiarist has been bestowed with. In response to a "You Got Plagiarized By Jeff Gannon" e-mail that I sent, Ms. Beecher informed me that she "was the only reporter at this "event" and reported on a first-hand experience." Jeff didn't acknowledge her as a source for his "copy-and-pasted" story, and that's about the worst journalistic sin anyone can commit (next to Judith Miller's lies dictated from unnamed government sources which helped lead to the illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq).
On June 17, 2003 Jeff Gannon's
stolen goods "Homeschooling Parents Threatened With Loss of Children" ran on Talon News, the portal to, travelled all across the Web to conservative Websites, and it is still archived at Mens News Daily (though probably not for much longer). Here is a link to Melissa Beecher's "Home-schooling standoff in Waltham."

Krista calls our attention to "Self Hatred at Harvard" by Margaret Kimberley:

Nothing can ruin a Sunday morning like a New York Times magazine article with a dubious title such as, "Toward a Unified Theory of Black America." The alarm bells are immediate because the Times loves to give attention to black people who are either in jail or on welfare or who have impeccable credentials but who are horribly confused.
Roland Fryer is in the latter category. He is a 27-year old assistant professor of economics at Harvard. His ideas explain why economics is called the dismal science. The word dismal doesn’t begin to describe the damage to black people that Fryer and his ilk can cause.
Fryer and his colleagues in the economics department at Harvard somehow managed to get attention by repeating an old medical theory that seeks to explain higher rates of cardio vascular disease among black Americans. It has been hypothesized that survival during the middle passage from Africa to the Americas favored those whose bodies were best able to retain salt and fluids.
"Absolutely there's an insulation effect. There's no question that working with Roland is somewhat liberating," chirps one of his white colleagues, Edward L. Glaeser. Fryer's friends don't need to be insulated from discussion about the salt retention abilities of black people. They need the protection he gives them when they seek to prove that everything is A-OK in America. If it works fine then anyone who isn’t doing well, like black people, have only themselves to blame.

The e-mail address for this site is and a partial version of this post went up while I was finishing this. My apologies.